PPM is Evolving with Strategic Project Management on the Rise
June 08, 2022

Jordy Dekker

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Enterprises have had access to various Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) tools for quite a few years, to guide in their project selection and execution lifecycle. Yet, in spite of the digital evolution of management software, many organizations still fail to construct an effective PPM plan or utilize cutting-edge management tools.

Digital innovation and disruptive technologies are creating change at warp speed. Organizations are faced with the enormous task of trying to stay on track, while on the fast track. The project design ecosystem in many businesses is too big, too siloed, too complex, and too costly. There is increasing pressure to pivot quickly in response to ever-changing demands, while still retaining control of day-to-day tasks and delivering on strategic initiatives.

Project Management Challenges that Impede Success

The most common factors that contribute to project failures emanate from a position of deficiency or lack of:

■ Resource planning leading to project overruns

■ Visibility for all stakeholders

■ Alignment with core business strategies and initiatives

■ Cohesive communication across the enterprise

■ Resistance to new methods and technologies

■ Collaboration across project teams with multiple silos

■ Realistic delivery expectations with schedule delays

■ Effective prioritization with too many projects at one time

Business analysts estimate that at least 50% of projects fail for these reasons, and many place that figure much higher. Without a clear PPM plan, executed with advanced intuitive and automated tools, an enterprise will continue to flounder and experience poor performance and financial waste.

PPM Technology Innovations Change the Corporate Culture

Effective project and portfolio management enables an enterprise to make the best decisions to successfully execute its strategic goals. The clarity and visibility attained with the right management software tools can empower stakeholders to stay in control of project design, intent, resources and timelines, while still managing day-to-day business needs.

Innovative PPM technology fosters collaboration and communication between departments and business units for a holistic approach. From the C-suite down, a shared vision and transparency breaks down silos and allows all stakeholders to visualize the bigger picture. One of the impediments to successful engagement of digital innovations has been the resistance of siloed departments to change habits and methods. Through training and strong leadership, the advantages of a collaborative culture through adoption of digital innovations can reveal greater efficiencies across the enterprise.

Advanced PPM platforms that integrate business strategy capabilities can consolidate all project-related data into a single centralized repository that is equipped with advanced analytics for effective data sharing with all teams and stakeholders. Through streamlining and automating more basic daily tasks and processes, team members are able to conserve time, increase productivity and focus on core project elements.

Projects often influence each other and can create interdependencies for resources and deliverables. With the use of more advanced, integrated and intuitive dashboards, that provide real-time data and key metrics, project viability can be assessed and decision-making clarified as to what projects to hold, begin or eliminate. The ability to estimate the potential ROI of a project can significantly and positively impact the bottom line.

PPM Is Being Redefined as Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM)

Project management, as part of the project portfolio architecture, needs strategy, flexibility, and agility. By layering the business strategy over the execution layer of projects and programs, there is continuous monitoring of initiatives, investments, and delivery. The concept of SPM is quickly replacing PPM to describe a successful management process.

So, what is the difference?

Business transformation in the form of projects should not be disconnected from strategy. SPM is an integrated software approach that enables an enterprise to align all project execution with strategy and more effectively drive business agility. SPM integrates planning, funding and overseeing of all discretionary investments in the management of the project portfolio architecture. It utilizes data-fueled metrics and continuous monitoring to constantly evaluate investments against results. This cohesive approach empowers greater insights to reprioritize, adjust, or cut projects during the lifecycle for continuous portfolio optimization.

As the modern permutation of PPM, Strategic Portfolio Management facilitates the right projects, done the right way, at the right time. According to Gartner, over 50% of PPM leaders plan to integrate SPM technologies to help them define projects and strategic goals. These statistics highlight the importance of project and portfolio management technology innovations.

■ 77% of high-performing projects use project management software.

■ Organizations that use proven PPM practices waste 28 times less money than their counterparts who do not have PPM practices in place.

■ 8 out of 10 project managers believe that project portfolio management is becoming a critical factor in influencing business success.

■ 67% of projects of organizations that undervalue project management result in failure.

■ Failed IT projects have cost U.S.-based enterprises $50–$150 billion in lost revenue and productivity.

Jordy Dekker is Chief Evangelist at ValueBlue
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